Capturing the Fan Experience


Fox Sports Detroit (FSD) was in the market for a creative agency to develop a series of commercials to promote the upcoming NHL season on the network. After analyzing the market in search of a creative agency, FSD chose Alchemy based on our Neo-Traditional approach to creative ideation and our ability to offer big-agency results with a small, yet highly creative, team. They sought, first and foremost, a creative idea that could be masterfully executed.

The goal of the project was to create a series of commercials that would air throughout the early stages of the NHL season and drive fans to follow their beloved team to religiously watch games live on FSD. With a hockey season of 82 games, along with competition from other sports and shows, it was critical to create a campaign that wouldn’t merely motivate a devoted audience to watch the games, but would truly capture the interest of the casual fan as well. It needed to be emotional. It needed to be different. And most of all, it needed to be authentic to the experience of watching a game on television.



As Alchemists, we believe that you have to develop a strategy before employing any tactics. Before developing the campaign, we needed to have a deep understanding of the audience we were targeting. We needed to know: How do fans keep up with the team? How do fans watch the game? What’s the experience of being a Red Wings fan like? What drives them to watch hockey versus anything else on TV?

Through conducting multiple focus groups, we discovered that, to relate to fans, we needed to create a concept that focused on the experience of being a fan away from Joe Louis Arena. We came to understand that watching a game on TV was an experience much larger than the game itself. It was a bonding moment between father and son…it was an excuse to get the gang together…it was an avenue to become fast friends with complete strangers at a bar…it was the stuff of memories — not just of the game itself, but the experience of who you watched the game’s biggest moments with.



As a result, our spots contain elements of anticipation, tradition and fan experience: The tradition of being a fan being passed down from father to son through watching games together. The experience of watching the game whether you’re surrounded by friends, strangers at a bar or at home all by yourself. And of course, the anticipation of watching a game, with each moment (no matter how quickly they happen) reminds us of why we are fans in the first place. The dual meaning of the tagline we developed (“Never miss a moment…some last a lifetime.”) underscores how some of hockey’s most memorable moments happen off the ice — at the bar, in our family rooms, and in the living rooms of friends — that we keep and savor for our entire lives.